Jewish Journal

Benson S.

by Seth Menachem

August 31, 2011 | 9:54 am

Photo by Jane Weitzel

Benson was born in Canada. “I call it Poland, because the winters are so bad.” He asks me about myself, and when I answer, he lifts his hands in the air and waves his fingers at me.... read full article

  • Samantha S.

    by Seth Menachem

    August 23, 2011 | 5:58 pm

    Samantha wants to take up yoga to get leaner. She says, “I think I’m built to be Hulk’s sister. Just paint me green.” She looks sturdy. Not fat. Like a sequoia … or Hulk’s sister. She has muscles. I’m pretty sure she could beat me in a fight. She likes to kickbox, and she...

  • The shul that fits

    By Rachel Heller

    August 19, 2011 | 3:30 pm

    It happens most Friday nights. I close my laptop, pack stray work-related thoughts into my mental filing cabinet and begin to decompress for the weekend, when an insistent pang starts tugging at my brain. Something, I’ve long felt, is missing.

    Several months ago, I finally put my...

  • Good kavanot

    By Dikla Kadosh

    August 19, 2011 | 3:20 pm

    The Hebrew word kavanot doesn’t have a direct translation to English, even though English is a far richer language: it beats Hebrew 250,000 words to 80,000. The closest translation would be “intentions.” That’s the definition most commonly used in the context of Jewish...

  • Getting over getting older

    by Wendy Jaffe

    August 19, 2011 | 3:20 pm

    By the time you read this, I will have survived a big birthday. I am not going to tell you how many birth anniversaries have passed, because I hope you picture me as I picture myself: just out of college, with so much life ahead of me that I don’t mind wasting a little bit here and...

  • Conejo in spiritual bloom

    by Evan Henerson

    August 19, 2011 | 3:16 pm

    One year after they opened Chabad of Agoura Hills in 1986, Chabad officials decided to hold a Chanukah festival at an Agoura Hills mall. They put up a menorah and, soon thereafter, received an anonymous phone call demanding its removal.

    “They said, ‘Agoura is not a Jewish...

  • Rethink, rebuild, rebirth

    by Sophie Golub

    August 19, 2011 | 3:10 pm

    Inside the small chapel at the center of the inner courtyard at Temple Judea, light streams in through a laser-cut metal veil that envelops the building. Hebrew letters decorate the veil in random order. One can sit immersed in prayer or spend time contemplating those letters, trying...

  • Sacred spaces

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    August 19, 2011 | 2:36 pm

    Ever catch yourself on Rosh Hashanah flipping through the remaining pages of the prayer book, mentally calculating how much longer you’ll be there? How about counting the number of tiles in the ceiling? To pray, an individual has to push his thoughts beyond mere material things,...

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